How does the prevalence of cat scratch disease (CSD) vary by age?

Updated: Feb 16, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

In a database analysis by Jackson et al, 55% of patients with CSD were 18 years of age or younger. [32] Older literature suggests that more than 80% of cases occur in persons younger than 21 years.

The younger age of individuals most likely to acquire CSD reflects their likelihood of exposure to the major risk factor (ie, kittens). On the other hand, a bias may exist in the literature because pediatricians have collected many of the large case series.

Patients older than 60 years are more likely to present with atypical features of catscratch disease. Especially in adults older than 49 years of age, CSD can occur concurrently with neoplasm and mycobacteriosis. [12]


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